Top 129 Arthur Conan Doyle Quotes

A man always finds it hard to realize that he may have finally lost a woman’s love, however badly he may have treated her.


Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.


When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.


It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.


The love of books is among the choicest gifts of the gods.


Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?’ ‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.’ ‘The dog did nothing in the night-time.”That was the curious incident,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes.


I’m not a psychopath, I’m a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research.


There are always some lunatics about. It would be a dull world without them.


The ways of fate are indeed hard to understand. If there is not some compensation hereafter, then the world is a cruel jest.


The devil’s agents may be of flesh and blood, may they not?


A sandwich and a cup of coffee, and then off to violin-land, where all is sweetness and delicacy and harmony.


Picnics are very dear to those who are in the first stage of the tender passion.


It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.


I think that I had better go, Holmes.””Not a bit, doctor. Stay where you are. I am lost without my Boswell.


It has always seemed to me that so long as you produce your dramatic effect, accuracy of detail matters little. I have never striven for it and I have made some bad mistakes in consequence. What matter if I hold my readers?


It is a pity he did not write in pencil. As you have no doubt frequently observed, the impression usually goes through — a fact which has dissolved many a happy marriage.


It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it.


It was easier to know it than to explain why I knew it.


There is a soul-jealousy that can be as frantic as any body-jealousy.


It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data.


It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.


There is no scent so pleasant to my nostrils as that faint, subtle reek which comes from an ancient book.


You will, I am sure, agree with me that… if page 534 only finds us in the second chapter, the length of the first one must have been really intolerable.


It is only when you touch the higher that you realize how low we may be among the possibilities of creation.


Watson. Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.


The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action I can recall in our association. I was alone.


I felt Holmes’s hand steal into mine and give me a reassuring shake.- Watson


Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting.


A study in scarlet, eh? Why shouldn’t we use a little art jargon? There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.


To the man who loves art for its own sake, it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived.


I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.


Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l’admire.A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him.


It is a question of cubic capacity,” said he; “a man with so large a brain must have something in it.


She was as good as she was beautiful and as intelligent as she was good.


How small we feel with our petty ambitions and strivings in the presence of the great elemental forces of Nature!


To let the brain work without sufficient material is like racing an engine. It racks itself to pieces. The sea air, sunshine, and patience, Watson—all else will come.


There is nothing more to be said or to be done tonight, so hand me over my violin and let us try to forget for half an hour the miserable weather and the still more miserable ways of our fellowmen.


A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.


(…) My mind is like a racing engine, tearing itself to pieces because it is not connected up with the work for which it was built.


It is stupidity rather than courage to refuse to recognize danger when it is close upon you.


Accounts are not quite settled between us,” said she, with a passion that equaled my own. “I can love, and I can hate. You had your choice. You chose to spurn the first; now you must test the other.


The bent head, the averted eye, the faltering voice, the wincing figure- these, and not the unshrinking gaze and frank reply, are the true signals of passion.


My correspondence has certainly the charm of variety, and the humbler are usually the more interesting. This looks like one of those unwelcome social summonses which call upon a man either to be bored or to lie.


What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done.


It was amusing to me to see how the detective’s overbearing manner had changed suddenly to that of a child asking questions of its teacher.


Desultory readers are seldom remarkable for the exactness of their learning.


For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination.


It is, I admit, mere imagination; but how often is imagination the mother of truth?


I don’t take much stock of detectives in novels – chaps that do things and never let you see how they do them. That’s just inspiration: not business.


[O]n general principles it is best that I should not leave the country. Scotland Yard feels lonely without me, and it causes an unhealthy excitement among the criminal classes.


She was weak and helpless, shaken in mind and nerve. It was to take her at a disadvantage to obtrude love upon her at such a time.


When a man does a queer thing, or two queer things, there may be a meaning to it, but when everything he does is queer, then you begin to wonder


Your life is not your own. Keep your hands off it.


In my inmost heart I believed that I could succeed where others failed, and now I had the opportunity to test myself.


From my boyhood I have had an intense and overwhelming conviction that my real vocation lay in the direction of literature. I have, however, had a most unaccountable difficulty in getting any responsible person to share my


The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.


As a rule, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.


The larger crimes are apt to be the simpler, for the bigger the crime, the more obvious, as a rule, is the motive.


No: I am not tired. I have a curious constitution. I never remember feeling tired by work, though idleness exhausts me completely.” ~ Sherlock Holmes


You know, Watson, I don’t mind confessing to you that I have always had an idea that I would have made a highly efficient criminal. –Sherlock Holmes


Yes, the setting (Dartmoor) is a worthy one. If the devil did desire to have a hand in the affairs of men.Sherlock Holmes


Art in the blood is liable to take the strongest forms


Before we begin to investigate that, let us try to realize what we do know, so as to make the most of it, and to separate the essential from the accidental.


That’s rather a broad idea,” I remarked. “One’s ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature,” he answered.


Some friend of yours, perhaps?””Except yourself I have none,” he answered. “I do not encourage visitors.


The big blank spaces in the map are all being filled in, and there’s no room for romance anywhere.


Now is the dramatic moment of fate, Watson, when you hear a step upon the stair which is walking into your life, and you know not whether for good or ill.


The future was with Fate. The present was our own.~ The Poison Belt


There was something awesome in the thought of the solitary mortal standing by the open window and summoning in from the gloom outside the spirits of the nether world.


I fear that I bore you with these details, but I have to let you see my little difficulties, if you are to understand the situation.


It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.


Do you note the peculiar construction of the sentence—‘This account of you we have from all quarters received.’ A Frenchman or Russian could not have written that. It is the German who is so uncourteous to his verbs.


Her cuisine is limited but she has as good an idea of breakfast as a Scotchw


You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.


Who knows, Watson? Woman’s heart and mind are insoluble puzzles to the male.


Perhaps when a man has special knowledge and special powers like my own, it rather encourages him to seek a complex explanation when a simpler one is at hand.


The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning.


I assure you, my good Lestrade, that I have an excellent reason for everything that I do.


When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals.


The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when [Holmes] became a specialist in crime.


That hurts my pride, Watson. It is a petty feeling, no doubt, but it hurts my pride. It becomes a personal matter with me now…”-Sherlock Holmes–The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Five Orange Pips-


It is fortunate for this community that I am not a criminal.


Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.


No violence, gentlemen — no violence, I beg of you! Consider the furniture!


I would not bring one shadow on his life, and this I know would break his noble heart.


To underestimate oneself is as much an exaggeration of one’s powers than the other.


I trust that age doth not wither nor custom stale my infinite variety.


The chief proof of man’s real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness.


Truly, the old maid is a most useful person, one of the reserve forces of the community. They talk of the superfluous woman, but what would the poor superfluous man do without her kindly presence?


I have wrought my simple planIf I give one hour of joyTo the boy who’s half a man,Or the man who’s half a boy.


He is not a bad fellow, though an absolute imbecile in his profession. He has one positive virtue. He is as brave as a bulldog and as tenacious as a lobster if he gets his claws upon anyone.


I am afraid that I rather give myself away when I explain,” said he. “Results without causes are much more impressive.


It would be superfluous todrive us mad, my dear Watson


Exactly. Since it is morally justifiable, I have only to consider the question of personal risk. Surely a gentleman should not lay much stress upon this, when a lady is in most desperate need of his help?


I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix.


A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.


Why should you, for a mere passing pleasure, risk the loss of those great powers with which you have been endowed?


To let the brain work without sufficient material is like racing an engine. It racks itself to pieces.


When once your point of view is changed, the very thing which was so damning becomes a clue to the truth.


We must look for consistency. Where there is a want of it we must suspect deception.


Holmes,” I cried, “this is impossible.” “Admirable!” he said. “A most illuminating remark. It IS impossible as I state it, and therefore I must in some respect have stated it wrong. Yet you saw for yourself. Can you suggest any fallacy?


There are seventy-five perfumes, which it is very necessary that a criminal expert should be able to distinguish from each other, and cases have more than once within my own experience depended upon their prompt recognition.


I fear that if the matter is beyond humanity, it is certainly beyond me.


Everything I have to say has already crossed your mind.””Then possibly my answer has crossed yours.


All my instincts are one way, and all the facts are the other, and I much fear that British juries have not yet attained that pitch of intelligence when they will give the preference to my theories over Lestrade’s facts.


Sherlock Holmes and I surveyed this curt announcement and the rueful face behind it, until the comical side of the affair so completely overtopped every other consideration that we both burst out into a roar of laughter.


Of all ghosts, the ghosts of our old loves are the worst.


…above all, do not fret until you know that you really have a cause for it.


Dark nights are unpleasant,” “Yes, for strangers to travel,””The clouds are heavy.””Yes, a storm is approaching.


You yourself may not be luminous, but you are a conductor of light.


He was the best shot in India, and I expect that there are few better in London. Have you heard the name?”No, I have not.”Well, well, such is fame!


I should prefer that you do not mention my name at all in connection with this case, as I choose to be only associated with those crimes which present some difficulty in their solution.


There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.


The charlatan is always the pioneer… The quack of yesterday is the professor of tomorrow.


Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time done manual labour, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else.


What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence, the question is what you can make people believe that you have done.


Take a pinch of snuff, doctor, and acknowledge that I have scored over you in your example.


I follow my own methods, and tell as much or as little as I choose. That is the advantage of being unofficial.


The Times is a paper which is seldom found in any hands but those of the highly educated.


I must apologize for calling so late,” said he, “and I must further beg you to be so unconventional as to allow me to leave your house presently by scrambling over your back garden wall.


A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library where he can get it if he wants it.


It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.


We can’t command our love, but we can our actions.


Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.


Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.


How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?


It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.


I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.


It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.



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